What Are We Reading?: Aurora, Kim Stanley Robinson
Rating: 4/5 Unexpected Futures
Give me the short version: The generation spaceship finally limps into orbit around Aurora in the Tau Ceti system, but it's only the beginning.
After tackling Red Mars, Green Mars, Blue Mars I was a better person but worried I just didn't have the calibre to come to terms with Kim Stanley Robinson as a reader. The artistry is undeniable, but can also feel dry to the uninitiated, overwhelmed by detail. And I freely admit that I struggle with politics; the awfulness of people versus people leaves me gutsick. But Aurora was beautiful. I find good space opera should leave me on the brink of tears if not pushed over: stripped back to an awareness of how great humanity can be and yet on that great stage how very inconsequential. Especially charming although not evident until the end is the steady unswerving influence of Badim. Husband, father, bedrock to the prominent players, always there subtly shaping events. If you've ever longed to try this author but were apprehensive, Aurora is a fantastic diving off point.
"It began to become clear, for many of those present, that extinction lay at the end of all their possible paths. This was not the same as individual death, but was instead something both more abstract and more profound."